1 Samuel 30-31; Psalm 18

How the Mighty Fall.

“So Saul, three of his sons, his armor bearer, and his troops all died together that same day.” ­– 1 Samuel 31:6 NLT

As we come to the end of 1 Samuel, we come to the tragic end of Saul’s life. Abandoned by God. Driven by jealousy and fear. Characterized by disobedience and a self-centered, me-focused mindset, Saul ends his life by taking it. He is not even willing to allow God to act as His judge and executioner. Instead, he begs his armor bearer to kill him. When he refuses, Saul takes matters into his own hands again and commits suicide.

What a sad ending to a life that started out so well. He had been given an opportunity by God to serve Him and live as His representative here on earth. But Saul was NOT a man after God’s own heart. He did not share God’s passions. Saul was obsessed with Saul. His will held sway. His desires ruled his life and determined his actions. His death is tragic. You can’t help but feel sorry for him as you read of the last moments of his life and the degrading treatment of his corpse by the enemy after his death.

Yet, at the same time we see David being blessed by God – even in his disobedience. David had been given the town of Ziglag by Achish, king of the Philistines. Located in Philistine territory, David had used this town as his base of operations as he ran secret raids back into the land of Israel, wiping out the enemies of Israel. But the whole time he was hiding his actions by allowing Achish to think he was actually attacking the enemies of the Philistines. God had not told David to hide out in the land of the Philistines. This was David’s decision. But even in his disobedience, David was still trying to serve God by protecting Israel. His heart was right even though some of his decisions were wrong. And those decisions would have negative ramifications. Living in the enemy’s camp was going to be costly. God had already protected him from having to fight against Israel side by side with Achish and his armies. But now, when David returned home to Ziklag, he found it burned to the ground and everyone and everything taken captive by the Amalekites. Things were so bad that David’s men are ready to stone him! They had all lost their wives, children, and possessions. All because David had decided to hide out in the land of the Philistines.

But once again, God steps in. David seeks God’s favor and counsel. He turns to the one he knew he could trust. And God answers. God had stopped talking to Saul a long time ago, but He was still talking to David. And He tells David to go after the Amalekites and that everything would be returned. And it all turns out just as God had said. They catch up to the Amalekites, wipe them out, and get back every person and every possession that had been taken. God intervened once again in the life of David.

David knew that God was with him. He recognized the hand of God in his life. Psalm 18, written at this same time reveals David’s understanding of God’s presence and protection, and His sovereign involvement in his life. All his victories in battle were the result of God’s divine enablement. And success David had experienced was attributable to God and no one else. God was David’s deliverer and his delight. David owed all he was to his God. His life was in God’s hand. His future was in God’s hand. His kingdom was in God’s hand. Which is why he could say, “Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name.” – Psalm 18:49 NASB).

Father, may the words of David be my words. I want to give thanks to You because of all that you have done, are doing, and will do in my life. I owe all that I am to You. I am nothing without You. You have always been my deliverer, but I want You to be my delight. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men